Why So Little Time?
TIME. We may find it difficult to define the word precisely, but we certainly know that we never seem to have enough time. We also know that it goes by quickly. In fact, we often sigh, “Time simply flies.”
Nevertheless, it is evident that the English poet Austin Dobson came closer to the truth when he noted in 1877: “Time goes, you say? Ah no! Alas, Time stays, we go.” Since his death in 1921, Dobson has been gone for almost 80 years; time has continued.
Time in Abundance
Of mankind’s Creator, the Bible tells us: “Before the mountains themselves were born, or you proceeded to bring forth as with labor pains the earth and the productive land, even from time indefinite to time indefinite you are God.” (Psalm 90:2) Or as The New Jerusalem Bible renders it, “from eternity to eternity you are God.” So time will last as long as God himself lasts—forever!
In sharp contrast with God, who has an eternity of time at his disposal, we read of humans: “For all our days have come to their decline in your fury; we have finished our years just like a whisper. In themselves the days of our years are seventy years; and if because of special mightiness they are eighty years, yet their insistence is on trouble and hurtful things; for it must quickly pass by, and away we fly.”—Psalm 90:9, 10.
Why is life today so short, since the Bible clearly teaches that God’s purpose is for man to live forever? (Genesis 1:27, 28; Psalm 37:29) Instead of an unlimited life span as God purposed, why do humans on an average have, at best, less than 30,000 days? Why do humans have so little time? Who or what is responsible for this sad situation? The Bible provides clear and satisfying answers.*
Ever Less Time
Oldsters will verify that in recent decades the pace of living has speeded up. One journalist, Dr. Sybille Fritsch, pointed out that during the past 200 years, the workweek has dropped from 80 to 38 hours, “yet this has not put a stop to our complaining.” She clarified: “No time; time is money; gasping for time like gasping for breath; a life of hurry-scurry.”
New inventions have opened up opportunities and possibilities never even dreamed of by earlier generations. But the greater the possibility of engaging in a multitude of activities, the greater the frustration at having too little time to do so. Nowadays, in many parts of the world, people live by the clock, rushing from one deadline to the next. Dad must leave for work at 7:00 a.m., Mother must get the children to school by 8:30 a.m., Granddad has a doctor’s appointment at 9:40 a.m., and all of us must get ready for an important meeting at 7:30 p.m. In the haste of chasing one deadline after another, there is scarcely time left for any relaxation. And we complain about the daily grind, about the rat race.
We Are Not Alone in Having Little Time
God’s Adversary, Satan the Devil, the one whose scheming led to mankind’s curtailed life span, has now become a victim of his own wickedness. (Compare Galatians 6:7, 8.) Speaking of the birth of the Messianic Kingdom in heaven, Revelation 12:12 gives us cause for hope when it says: “On this account be glad, you heavens and you who reside in them! Woe for the earth and for the sea, because the Devil has come down to you, having great anger, knowing he has a short period of time.”
According to reliable Bible chronology and the fulfillment of Bible prophecy, we are now living at the close of that “short period of time.” What a joy to know that Satan’s time at large is soon to expire altogether! Once he has been put out of the way, obedient humans will be restored to perfection, and they can attain to the everlasting life that Jehovah purposed for them at the beginning. (Revelation 21:1-4) Lack of time will no longer be a problem.
Can you imagine what it will mean to have everlasting life—to live forever? Never again will you be plagued by things that you had to leave undone. If you need more time, there is tomorrow, or next week, or next year—in fact, a vast eternity stretching out before you!
Using Wisely the Time We Now Have
Realizing that his time to influence humans is limited, Satan tries to keep people so busy that they have no time to listen to the good news of God’s established Kingdom. We, therefore, do well to heed the divine counsel: “Keep strict watch that how you walk is not as unwise but as wise persons, buying out the opportune time for yourselves, because the days are wicked. On this account cease becoming unreasonable, but go on perceiving what the will of Jehovah is.”—Ephesians 5:15-17.
How vital that we use our time wisely for the things of greatest importance rather than squander it on useless pursuits that bring no lasting benefit! We should cultivate the same attitude that Moses had when he petitioned Jehovah in these heartfelt words: “Show us just how to count our days in such a way that we may bring a heart of wisdom in.”—Psalm 90:12.
True, in today’s world everyone is busy. Nevertheless, Jehovah’s Witnesses strongly urge you to spend some of your precious time to learn about God’s requirements for gaining everlasting life under the rule of his Kingdom. An hour a week spent in systematically studying the Bible, “perceiving what the will of Jehovah is,” may put you in line to experience personally the fulfillment of these words: “Turn away from what is bad and do what is good, and so reside to time indefinite. The righteous themselves will possess the earth, and they will reside forever upon it.”—Psalm 37:27, 29.
See the book Knowledge That Leads to Everlasting Life, chapter 6, published by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc.